Click below to listen to this post on the Candidly Kendra podcast:
Last week I sat in the chair at the eye doctor’s office. It was the first time I’d been to this doctor and I liked her. I thought we could be friends. She even introduced herself with her first name and said that’s what I should call her. Aubrey. …Or was it Audrey? Shoot, I always do that.
I have terrible eyesight. I wear contacts every minute of the day and at night I stumble into walls and before cell phones I had to walk up to the alarm clock to see what time it was. It’s bad.
But the strangest thing happened as I sat in the chair at the eye doctor’s office. With my hand covering my left eye I tried to read the third line of letters. I had nothing. I could barely even see that they were there. There is no better place for this to happen than at the eye doctor’s office, right? The doctor is there to see how bad it is so that I can get my problem fixed. But I panicked.
I tried a few letters, but really I was just making things up. Then I admitted that to my new best friend/optometrist, Audrey. She said, “That’s ok, just tell me what you can see.”
You guys, I completely locked up. I couldn’t see a thing. I couldn’t say a thing. I just sat there, sputtering, for an uncomfortable amount of time. Audrey was kindly waiting for me to pull my act together, maybe at this point wondering if I knew my alphabet. And when it went on long enough I realized that I was having some sort of existential crisis. So I did a quick mental assessment and realized…get this…I WAS AFRAID TO FAIL.
My eye exam. I was afraid to fail my eye exam.*
Somehow that was tied in with me wanting Doctor Aubrey to like me. And apparently I don’t think optometrists are friends with people with bad vision.
What is wrong with me?
I desperately want to be admired. And I want to be known.
And do you realize how difficult it is in this world for those two things to coexist? Not because the world is broken, but because I am broken. Watch out friends, if you get too close, it’s going to get ugly.
This is what we look for in a best friend – for the person who knows our junk and loves us for it. And it’s what we look for in a spouse, being known and yet still somehow being their favorite other person. And I’ll let you in on a secret: This is why we like to be needed, because being needed can be a pretty good substitute for being loved.
But our best friends and our spouses, though they may love us well, can’t love us perfectly. Some of the ugliness that they see in us makes them flinch. Admit it, some of their junk makes you flinch, too, doesn’t it? (Like when your husband does that one thing again, and you just “can’t even right now.”)
But God’s love is the purest, the strongest, the most enduring, the most undeserved. His love for us is based on his character, not on ours. So when I am ugly he never flinches. His loves doesn’t change, because he hasn’t changed.
I halfway wish that I could earn God’s love somehow and then take credit for it. (“Well, he loves me because I’m so amazing,” I would say, humbly bowing my head.) Oh, but what about that day last week when I was a mess? What about yesterday? What about this very moment?
No, God’s way is better.
*To wrap up the story, at that point I told Doctor Audrey, “I’m afraid to fail!” Then I laughed awkwardly at myself. Then I read the next line up. (In summary, I definitely did fail, and now I have a very strong contacts prescription.)